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tv   The Dylan Ratigan Show  MSNBC  December 19, 2011 1:00pm-2:00pm PST

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part in our productions. >> which is a nice distraction from your agenda to steal my staff at dinner tonight. >> the show starts -- >> right now. well, good monday afternoon to you. i am dylan ratigan. nice to be seeing you. today's big story for all of us, give me a break. the latest shenanigans in washington tonight could leave millions of struggling americans, those who are the most vulnerable among us, those with a higher tax bill and without unemployment benefits come january 1st. within the next couple of hours, the house of representatives expected to shoot down a two-month extension that passed senate overwhelmingly this weekend, kicking the can down the road in that plan, while our politicians punt repeatedly and obl obliviously on the problems affecting our country.
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trade, tax, and banking, all of which that are being bought by these special interests. >> americans are tired of washington's short-term fixes and gimmicks. we oppose the senate bill, because a two-mont extension instead of a full-year extension causes uncertainty for job creators. >> all it would take in the house, if all democrats or virtually all democrats vote for it is about 25 or 30 republicans, 12% of republican support in the house for this thing to become law. >> well, if these guys can't even agree to give americans free money, what can they agree on? nbc's luke russert with a front row seat to the side show, live at capitol hill. is there any better way as a politician to keep your job than inventing free money and giving it away? >> no, i think both sides would agree that tax relief for american workers is far and away the most popular thing they can
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ever campaign on, dylan. >> and yet, am i misunderstanding this, in that they're having a hard time agreeing to give away money? >> you are correct. this past saturday, the united states senate, in a bipartisan deal, which 90% of the senate was on board with it, the vote was 89-10, agreed to extend the payroll tax cut holiday that went from 6.2% on your check to 4.2%. about $1,000 in the pockets of 160 million working americans. that deal sailed through the united states senate. it was expected to go through the house. however, the house gop opposes it right now, at least the majority of them, from sources we've spoken to, because of the fact that it's not a full year. they see it as a temporary band-aid and that president obama and democrats will use the negotiating period from now until february to hammer republicans as not doing enough for tax relief for the middle class, that they don't want to have a surtax on millionaires. they don't see it as a politically viable issue for them. so you like to say it's a wrestling match here,
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professional wrestling on capitol hill. this might be the apott yoesz of that, dylan. you have harry reid drawing a line in the sand, saying that the senate will not come back to washington, d.c. that the house can either take this bill or leave it. all in the balance is a few things, besides the payroll tax cut holiday, unemployment benefits that millions of americans rely on in these very difficult times. one in four or five kids in the united states now are homeless, dylan. they are set to expire in january. medicare physicians, those who treat medicare patients, they will see a 27% decrease in their pay. why would they take new medicare patient ifs they're going to get a pay cut? all these issues that congress continually kicks between the two parties that neither side really wants to give up a lot on are going to expire come january, and there's no real answer as of right now, this monday, where i'm talking to you, what the way forward is going to be. because the house gop does not like this compromise that was negotiated by mitch mcconnell
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and harry reid. john boehner we thought originally was on board, but yesterday he changed his tune. so while we have this agreement back and forth and it's ideological and it's republican/democrat, and it's, you know, tea party revolt, and you know the liberals just don't want to help out middle class families for a whole year, only two months, blah blah blah blah blah. the disconnect between people's lives that are going to be severely affected is more so on this issue than any one we've debated up here on capitol hill so far, dylan. >> all right. thank you so much, luke. we are joined now by martin kady, politico's congressional editor and former rnc chairman, and msnbc political analyst, michael steele. and michael, i'm going to begin with you. >> sure. >> the american people know that the government is not working for them. the approval rate is at 9%. so lest we get concern that the american people don't understand what's going on, the american people know what's going on. they may have a different point of view as to what's causing it, but they're unhappy and they're
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making that clearly known. at the same time, we have an electoral system that has gerrymandered political districts. 94% of the time, the guy who raises the the most money wins, and there's always other issues. so i could have a 9% or 12 or 15% approval rating in 2010, a huge wave election, and the american people are missed off and they're not going to take it anymore. we're going to throw the bums out. we're not going to take this. and more than 75% of the politicians keep their jobs in the face of that wave. and do you need anymore evidence of the actual electoral system that the government is literally disconnected from the people, because of all these issues? >> well, the government, you're absolutely right. and i thought that luke hit it square out of the park here in terms of encapsulating what the problem is. this is about real people who have been suffering for a long time now through unemployment, joblessness, and this administration and this government, in the house and the senate, democrats and republicans have failed to come
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to the table. the last time i checked, dylan, if i'm not mistaken, both the democrats and the president have articulated for a year extension. republicans have agreed to a year extension. so i have no idea why the senate would pass a bill that's in contravention of what the president himself said he wanted, what democrats in the house said that they would accept, what republicans have all agreed to. so here we are, a few days before christmas, with people having a hard enough time as it is to worry about other things. now they've got this additional pressure. this will translate, trust me, next year, where voters are going to say, look, i've just had it with the washington blockage, the road blocking, the noise, and they're going to make a fundamental change. now, what that ultimately looks like is yet to be revealed. but i sense that there's a real desire out there to buck this system up in a way in which voters say, you know what, a pox on both their houses. we saw the beginnings of it in 2010. i think it finishes itself in
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2012. >> and you would think as long as we keep the the gerrymandering, however, and the auction process, martin, for the process, whoever replaces them will likely be equally bought. >> yeah, if you have confidence that there will be a big wave election and everything will change again, you're not paying close attention. i mean, it's only fitting that this final debate of the year is another 11th hour crisis that congress created. i mean, we already almost had a government shutdown. remember, president obama went before the washington monument and said, thank you god the washington monument will stay open thanks to this breakthrough. here we are a few days before christmas with another shining example of congressional dysfunction. and the thing is, it's striking, the lack of self-awareness that congress itself has. they all know they have a 9% approval rating, but if you ask individuals, they pretty much think it's the other guy's fault. >> right. >> well, also, isn't there a certain, at this point -- if i'm sitting in one of those jobs, and i've looked as these election districts. i could look at one of those
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districts, at least three quarters of them as a republican or a democrat, and really be like, there is no way that i'm going to lose this job. as long as i win the primary, this is a bought seat, because this is a bought district. it is only democrats or it is only republicans. and i add to that the confidence of fund-raising and the ability to manipulate -- because i don't have to look good, i just have to make you as my opponent look worse than me. i don't have to do anything useful, i just have to make you look like a pornographier of the first order and i'm good to go. so i have rigged the system, as a result, why do i need to respond to all of these 50 million poor people, one in five unemployed, oh, sure, so they stole $30 trillion, we told you t.a.r.p. was $30 billion, but turned out it was $30 trillion. what's the difference between friends? this is not a good path for our country, let me put it that way. >> no, it's not. and i think the salient point you made in your message there
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was the primary process. as we saw in 2010, republicans learned very quickly that their ability to hold on to their seats throughout the primary process was severely weakened by the tea party, who very forthrightly came to the tea party and challenged. i think you'll see that from occupy wall streeters, from tea parties on both the right and the left, coming in to challenge the establishment and the status quo leadership and what they've done. and if nothing else, make these individuals who are currently serving stand before the people of their districts and justify why they should be sent back to washington to do what again? to get us in the 12th hour, the 11th hour with no decisions. everyone finger-pointing, making the same noise about the same stuff that we were talking about eight months ago, three years ago. and i think that that kind of pressure in the primary process is going to be very, very interesting, which is why i think, dylan, you see the republican primary for president being as topsy-turvy as it is. they're really trying to hone
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down on who's going to best make the point against the administration, about their failed leadership on taxes, on the economy, on jobs. who's going to best make that argument, who understands what my walk has been like. >> martin, you get the last word here. do you feel optimistic or pessimistic? obviously, the system is screwed. we don't even have to analyze that. >> yeah. >> when i say optimistic or pessimistic, i mean relative to our collective ability to work it out, to resolve this over the next five or ten years? >> well, you know, i'm pessimistic about the outlook for congress increasing its approval rating anytime soon, but i'm optimistic that most of us will get to go home and see our families by the end of the week, because nothing focuses the mind on capitol hill like having a holiday loom. so these guys will do something, do nothing, but they'll definitely bail by the end of the week. >> all right. thank you, gentleman. appreciate it. coming up here on "the d.r. show," the death of kim jong-il
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and our exit from iraq. two power vacuums in critical regions. we'll talk about the impact on those regions. plus, working hard for the money. long hours, rough shifts, and less pay than the rest. the research confirming what so many already know and renowned economist knew mary haix call to action for a post-capitalist economy. and then a wild weekend in sports. our sportscaster, biff, in the house with the tale of the tape. if you think tylenol is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain... two pills can last all day. ♪
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well, complete with tearful anchor woman, this weekend brought the end of an era in north korea.
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general kim jong-il died of a heart attack, age 69. the addict the tatdictator rule fist, 17 years in power, inherited that power from his father. a similar scenario now playing out today. at least, that's what the north koreans will have us believe. power, at face value, is being transferred to kim jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s, labeled as a four-star general who overcease police and intelligence agencies, and he does like james bond and michael jordan, which, by the way, i like james bond and michael jordan too! doesn't mean i'm qualified to run a country, i suppose, but might have something in common with the guy, you know? anyway, according to our friends over at stratfor, they say the real person in charge is jong-un's uncle. not a surprise to anybody that
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would be at least speculated. this week did mark the end of an another era. this one also more about rhetoric, as the last u.s. convoy crossed into kuwait, officially ending military combat after nine years, and already there are indications of widening political instability within that country. that's not a surprise. both international events hugely significant for us here at home and iraq. some 16,000 of our fellow americans carry the american flag and our identity in that nation and in north korea, where a change at the top may be seen as a potential opportunity to step in and end their years-long pursuit of nuclear weapons. monday megapanel is here. imogen lloyd webber, chrystia freeland, and tim carney. it's a pleasure to see all of you. chrystia, you look at this, whether it's iraq or north korea, really it looks like power vacuums that are being created. in the case of iraq, one that's a possibility for iran to expand into. and two, in the case of north korea, an opportunity for china to expand its field of power. does anybody in the west really have the leverage, the united states or anybody else, to
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prevent china or iran for that matter, for really taking political advantage of the geographic nature of the fact that the person they're talking about is next door to them, not us. >> can i put a more optimistic spin on this? is that allowed? >> sure. >> i think with north korea, this is one of the worst governments in the world. it's a brutal dictatorship. we've seen now, you know, even sort of the pretext of being a communist party dictatorship is not the case anymore. it's become that red their. and particularly given the fact that we are living in this time when we're seeing dictators topple like dominos, i'm not predicting revolution in north korea, but i think instability could be kind of good for the people of north korea. >> imogen? >> i think, certainly, in iraq, with what's going on with the arab spring, you want governments with credibility. so i'm more hopeful with what's going on there than what's going
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on with north korea. fundamentally in north korea, it's all about china. china is the country that really knows what's going on -- >> don't they finance it and -- >> but it wants a stable north korea. that's absolutely key. it does not want a reunited korea and also doesn't want refugees going over -- >> and it also doesn't want a korea run by crazy people. i think the chinese actually are not, you know -- obviously, they prefer communist dictatorship to democracy, because that's kind of their thing. >> well, we retain power a different way. >> but a north korea that is unpredictable, not run effectively, i think that's scary for them. >> there's something amazing about north korea. you say not run effectively, but can you think of a regime that's more effectively repressed, oppressed, depressed all these people of north korea? in the last 100 years -- >> -- opening move was 2 million dead. when you open with 2 million dead -- >> when you starve and kill your people.
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maybe whole pot, but -- >> but that goes to chrystia's point, which is, there's got to be upside. >> that's exactly what -- >> when i look in iraq -- >> -- so bad, if they're unstable, of course, you know, there are dangers, we don't want to understate the point about unstable -- >> and it's impossible to talk about this without -- >> but one thing we should have learned from the arab spring is to support chromy governments is a bad thing. >> but with the arab spring, we were comparing something very bad against something unknown. >> in north korea, i feel like we are comparing almost the worst thing we've seen in history against something unknown. if i'm an nfl coach and i'm thinking, there's no good options here, and one is the worst option in history and one is slightly better, you're going to go for the slightly better. but in these other regimes, including in iraq, we don't know whether what we're going to end up with on a big picture is going to be worse off than what we started with. >> and the biggest issue, really, that brings up the global issue, which is the illusion of known and knowable,
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in a universe of unknown outcomes. we have all of these political leaders who are all wedded to this illusion of a known and noble universe, when we don't live in such a universe. >> if you can imagine north korea ending up worse than it is now, is not with regard to its people. i can't imagine it ending up worse with regard to north korean people. but with regard to the fact that somebody could have a nuclear bomb. >> of course. i'm going to be the polyana for a minute and say a third era ended this weekend. sadly, but a very positive era, and that's with the death of vaclav havel, i think it's worth remembering. a lot of people were saying these sorts of things when you had the soviet block collapse. a lot of people were scared. that was a nuclear power. there were potential nuclear successive states, ukraine, kazakhstan. people were really worried about apocalypse. and i think looking back, we should say, first of all, thank you, god, for vaclav havel, and also his velvet revolutions and the revolutions around him made
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the world a better place. >> here's what's missing from the analysis, i think, as we look at all of these things. i shouldn't say missing, i don't think we talk about it or give it enough credit. human beings, unlike rocks, unlike trees, unlike tables, unlike cars, unlike dogs and cats, hold inside of them what you would call emergent factors. the act to make decisions that dictate what -- influence what happens next. so iraq can't make a decision that influences whether it lives in a more abundant environment or not. we, humans, actually control our own intent in a given day, and can influence what happens next, so, obviously, we're good at imagining what could happen, right, from the horror show to the fantasy, but we don't seem to spend that much time, imogen, taking responsibility for the emergent factor of what it means to be a human being today, and what's an impact on tomorrow. >> it's the human impact, the human stories in these places. you take korea, for instance, so many korean families are split
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up between north and south korea. if we think back to germany being split up during the doeld war, we have that emotional -- those emotional ties between those north and south korea. and also let's face it, in iraq at the moment, there was a fascinating piece this moment to follow the money, as it were. billions of dollars are now being invested in iraq by various countries around the world, turkey, iran, china, in infrastructure. because the people inside iraq want that infrastructure, to move forward, to have better lives. and fundamentally, when you look at iraq, we're all in touch now through the arab spring. syria, fundamentally, has lost control of its population thanks to camera phones and a population with access to youtube. so fundamentally, it is the human impact. and because we now live in this new society, as it were, there is hope, as we're hearing. >> and right, what's missing from that, then it goes to what you talk about on a conservative narrative, goes to what you talk about from an economic narrative, and goes to what you talk about from a social narrative. you must take responsibility for your own life, whatever that
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life might be. and that's one of those thing that's sort of -- and i don't mean that in the right wing or left wing sense of -- i'm just saying that we exist and get to make decisions and those decisions impact things. the panel stays. after this, the winter of our discontent as governments around the globe continue to boil over, our specialist joins the conversation after this. [ male announcer ] tom's discovering that living healthy can be fun. see? he's taking his vitamins. new one a day vitacraves plus omega-3 dha is a complete multivitamin for adults. plus an excellent source of omega-3 dha in a great tasting gummy. one a day, gummies for grown-ups. yes. but lately we've been using k-y® intense™.
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well, no wonder they're calling 2011 the year of the protester. heck, 2012 could be the year of the protester. and maybe '13 and '14 if this keeps up. across the u.s. this weekend, occupy wall street protesters marked their three-month anniversary. meanwhile, in tahrir square, the death toll spiking as clashes continue between the ruling military and egyptians who want the military to step aside. and then tens of thousands of russians are in the streets demanding election reform after
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what protesters call sham parliamentary elections. so pick your location, you have a similar narrative, which is a total and utter sense of breached justice, breached fairness, a system that does not make decisions in a way that is just, period. and here with us to discuss the global awakening to these disenfranchised folks, our specialist today, matt bishop, business editor and washington bureau chief of "the economist." there is no question, matt, that certainly from my perspective, there is a remarkably valid -- and there's, by the way, matt's book, "road from ruin," which he co-authored on the subject of reviving capitalism, a path forward, if you will, from matt. but if you get a sense at all that there's a way to transition the energy, the rational energy of defiance against breach of justice, breach of law, breach of fairness, breach of
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everything, more or less, and converting that rage or frustration into a more productive or positive channel of some kind. >> yeah. i mean, as you look around the world, these movements all have exactly the same story. there are very different contexts, but the same story. which is a lot of people who are disenfranchised. they bought the dream. they thought if they went to school, got the qualifications, there would be jobs out there for them. and whether it be in egypt, where i was earlier this year in tahrir square or in london or america on wall street, people feel where, you know, this was the deal . we went, we studied, we worked, and there's no opportunity. and one of the reasons we wrote "the road from ruin," there needs to be a serious conversation about reconstructing the capitalist system with the people. it's our money that's being invested. we've got to make it work for us rather than for the few. >> let me ask you a question about your book. in your book, you talk about replacing the dollar with a new
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world reserve currency. and i was wondering if you could expand on that for us. >> well, i think that's a long-run thing. part of the problem we've had has been that china has been lending and others have been lending all this money to america, which has been invested in a housing bubble. but i think the more immediate problem is to look at all the financial institutions that we put our savings into. which are encouraging all this short-term behavior in the markets. you know, the institutions like fidelity or the pension funds that we invest in. i mean, those institutions are completely ignored, even though it's our money. and i think we need to behave in the same way that we behave when we buy fair trade coffee, when we actually invest our savings and our money as a majority of the money in the stock market now. and it's being invested in ways that's totally contrary to our interests in the long run. >> my question is, when it comes to the disenfranchisement of people, how much of that is due to the centralization of power, both in europe, power moving away from nations, in other words the eu, but more acutely,
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in the u.s., power moving away from local government, from state government, and towards a federal government. isn't that the main thing that takes power away from individuals and hands it to the special interests, who have all the lobbyists? >> well, i think both in politics and in finance, the money is going in directions which are contrary to the people's interests. and it's up to us, the people, who regain control of the system. and i think for some reason, finance seems to turn people off. they can't get their heads around it. it seems too complicated. so they hand over their money each month into these 401(k) plans and so forth, and they never ask a question, what's being done with that money? why is it being invested in long-term, sustainable businesses that really create wealth, that's going to be creating a better world when we retire, rash fatter cats on their yachts, which is what it's going towards at the moment. the same in politics. >> chrystia?
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>> matthew -- >> right, if this is a show you want to lose your temper on television, matt, because it's so frustrating, this is the place to do it. go ahead, chrystia. >> so, matthew, you're in london right now. i would love to hear from you what the level of popular discontent in britain is right now and how effective you think the cameron austerity policies are. >> well, i think britain's getting quite nervous now, because you're going to have all these job cuts, the government is adopting very aggressive austerity plans. and that is going to mean possibly a recession in britain, a deeper recession. but i think people also feel quite good that cameron has told the eu to get lost over this attempt to drag britain into bailing out the euro and trying to crack down the city. so it's a kind of schizophrenic situation here at the moment. i think, though, that britain, in some ways, will get ahead of
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america in terms of actually addressing some of these long-term issues that face the country. i mean, there does seem to be an attempt to get the city of london, for example, to think about stewardship. that word, stewardship, about looking after money for the long-term rather than the short-term something we need to hear more about in america. >> listen, matt, i honestly could not agree more thoroughly on the precision of the point that you're making. in fact, i was looking through some of my 401(k) stuff towards the end of last week just to see where it was, and was thinking about the irony of having this job, in which i openly and aggressively. in fact, i've gained 25 pounds of body weight as a function of stress since i left cnbc to attempt to deal with this nonsense, only to find that my retirement accounts are directly invested in the very systems that are destroying my life, that i'm trying to fight against. and the fact of the matter is that there are massive tax incentives that are created by the banks, with our government,
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to encourage me and every other american to save our money into the massive human being-eating extraction machine, if you will, as opposed to investing in any municipal idea and any innovation, and any concept. and so what we're asking people to do is we're saying, go in -- it's like asking people to pay higher taxes in order to save themselves, because you're being given all these tax incentives, matt, in this country, to save your money into a giant extraction machine. it's insane. >> if you trace all this money back from washington, you trace all this money back from the fat cats on wall street, it's our money. you trace it back to us. so the question is, how do we actually take control of that money again and make sure it's being spent in ways that we want. you know, we're seeing on wall street massive amounts of trading of shares. most of which generates commissions for wall streeters. it doesn't actually improve the performance of those companies. in fact, it makes them take short-term decisions.
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it makes them avoid investing, as you say, in these innovative new products that actually create jobs, actually creates a cleaner environment. it forces them to buy back more of our shares, push back the dividend, and trade more and more. >> but let's stop here for a second, because there is a gatekeeper for our capital that tends to be the pension managers in every state in america and all around the world. but there seems to be an issue where the pension managers, instead of representing our interests as a good steward for our money, whether it's the policeman -- i mean, that's the irony of the occupation is, the cops are at war with the occupiers, when the occupiers are the ones really attempting to defend the cops' pension that's getting ripped off, but the cop doesn't realize, because the whole thing's so screwball. and if you look at the reason the pensions don't step up to the plate is because they're bought too. that the pension managers across this country are terrified to
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actually assert the authority that you and i would want them to assert, because they don't want to cut off from the perks that they get for doing what wall street wants. >> yeah, i couldn't agree with you more. in "the road from ruin," we argue that warren buffett should be the model. you know, you invest in warren buffett's company, every year he has this meeting, they call the woodstock for capitalists, the shareholder meeting. he spends a whole day explaining why he invested why he did and hearing as many questions as people want to ask from his shareholders, from journalists, this year from analysts as well, and when did this ever happen with any pension fund that you put your 401(k) money in? when did they ever say, here's a whole day, come and speak to us, come and ask us questions. we'll explain what we've done, we'll explain the strategy. it's just absurd. these people are completely anonymous. they're unaccountable. and yet we can make them accountable. this is the debate we ought to be having. how do we get these institutions actually working the way they should be, just as we should be asking the same question about
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washington. how do we get washington to work to make the rights decisions, rather than just serve the people who are inside the system. >> and your point is the leverage lies with those who hold the capital, chrystia, and i know you're agreement through that entire process. that's where the capital actually lies, on those pension levels. >> what i was going to say, we seem to have created capitalism without capitalists. >> without capital? >> with the ownership being created without owners. >> it's privatized profit and socialized risk. and that's a huge -- >> the thing with this conversation, i defy you to find a tea partier who doesn't wash with this, an occupier who doesn't wash with this. we're talking about the basic principles of the betrayal of our identity. >> i thought that matthew made a really important point, which is that part of the difficulty is people don't want to engage with the complexity, so people are really interested in protesting, so unless you're willing to
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engage with the complexity of financial regulation -- >> and it's way more fun to talk about health care or something like that other than the fact that you have $1 trillion in screwed up capital. >> or s.e.c. regulation. >> this was really exciting. >> love the candy cane pen. >> can't take me that seriously with candy cane in my hand. and up next, a weekend in the nfl.
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are you ready for a little nfl football highlights? it's a rare occasion, but it was a crazy weekend, so we're bringing back our good buddy biff ratigan. last week the kansas city chiefs, after a disastrous loss to the new york jets, hired their head coach, interim coach, took on the undefeated super bowl champion, green bay packers. easy win for the packers, right? well, kc kicked the packers to the curb and ruined their
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perfect season, 19-14, the score. tebow mania, meanwhile, mile high. meet the man, tom brady. the patriots had had enough of tebow and the miracles. stafs rout. the new york giants, a come-from-behind win against their fierce rivals, cowboys, come home to play the redskins. the giants lose the game in the sun. and now their coach, tom coughlin, back on the hot seat. other crazy things, detroit down 13 points in the fourth quarter, wins the game, dropping the raiders, 7-7. and of course, the biggest highlight, halftime at mile high in denver where a monkey rode a dog. it does not get any better than this, ladies and gentlemen. we'll turn the show back over the dylan after this. i'm biff, signing off. [ female announcer ] where will you be when you have to change your pad? now with stayfree you don't have to worry. inspired by athletic wear, only stayfree has thermocontrol to wick away moisture.
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staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. and celebrex is not a narcotic. when it comes to relieving your arthritis pain, you and your doctor need to balance the benefits with the risks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam have the same cardiovascular warning. they all may increase the chance of heart attack or stroke, which can lead to death. this chance increases if you have heart disease or risk factors such as high blood pressure or when nsaids are taken for long periods. nsaids, including celebrex, increase the chance of serious skin or allergic reactions or stomach and intestine problems, such as bleeding and ulcers, which can occur without warning and may cause death. patients also taking aspirin and the elderly are at increased risk for stomach bleeding and ulcers. do not take celebrex if you've had an asthma attack, hives,
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[ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. for those of us who are lucky enough to have a job, there are new numbers out today analyzing american workers. according to the labor department, the average employed american works just over 2,000 hours per year. excuse me, just about 40 hours a week. the average yearly take home, about 37,000 bucks. the jobs that require even far longer days and even night shifts result in hundreds of extra hours works. think paramedicic, think retail manager at bloomingdale's.
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and yet, all too often, those are the jobs that also pay the least. our next guest thinks we have to shift our view on economics, because we're working harder and harder and getting less and less to show for it. joining us now, ezhu hauk tells us why we have to change. not just our measure of measure of economics, but why the an entire economy means. first of all, congratulations on this book. >> thank you. >> can you run a machine that you can't measure? >> i think you get what you measure. part of our problem, we're measuring industrial age stuff. we're kind of like a stone age tread that wants to leap into the bronze age. we're using yesterday's tools to do it. we don't have the right measurements and haven't had the right measurements for a long
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time. if we want to build a meaningfully better economy, not just an economy that does opulence, more, bigger, cheaper, fancier, nastier, which is what we spend our lives in pursuit of today, we want to build a better economy, we need to update our measures. so >> so give me -- we've talked a little bit about gdp as a bad measure. walk us through a couple of the examples of the tools of the stone age tools that we're using in this bronze age transition. >> i think the big one is gdp, huh? we've talked a little bit about its shortcomings before. now, if i was to ask you a simple question, which is, you know, dylan, are you rich? you probably wouldn't confuse your income with your net worth, right? >> right. >> but what we do at a national level is make exactly that mistake. the biggest problem with gdp, we've talked about it before in the sense that it undercounts some costs and overcounts some benefits, so it's kind of inaccurate. but there's a bigger problem. gdp is kind of an income
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statement for our country, for our economy. but it's not a statement of wealth. it's not a balance sheet. and so one of the big problems that we have, and i think it's the biggest problem we have in our economy, is that we don't have a balance sheet for our economy. so looking at gdp, as a statement of income, we donate have a balance sheet to tell us, what are our real assets? are they growing, are they in decline? are they flatlining? >> isn't the balance sheet, the wealth of the nation best measured through the absolute unemployment rate, hours worked, the average compensation, the percentage of the country in poverty. >> yes, yes. >> it's not like we don't have the data. it's just that we don't look at it like it's relevant to our economy, which strikes me as insane. >> absolutely. let's go back to the idea of gdp for a second. we had a lot of the data that ended up going into dd gdp. what we hadn't built was the actual synthesis, the creation of this one number. so we had the data, you're right, it's floating around. and it goes far beyond things
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like unemployment rates. i i would argue it includes things like poverty rates. is our work with really meaningful and engaging to us? are we happier? do we feel fulfilled? i would argue that a real balance sheet includes all of those things and more. and i think we have that stuff. but the real challenge for us is can we synthesize it into a balance sheet and use that balance sheet to begin monitoring, measuring, and managing for a more meaningful kind of process. >> here's how i look at this. you see it in television. everyone knows the nielsen rate registration complete wrong. they couldn't be more wrong, right. at the same time -- and they know with digital technology, you could take a discreet analysis of exactly how many people are watching this show or any other show that's ever been put on tv in a digital environment. but the power of the major networks who bill hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue against the bad data set and the threat to that incumbent power of realizing that the data set you're billing against is wrong, and you may not be getting as much money, i think that that
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exact same issue exists here, where if i go to a politician, if i go to president obama, if i go to mitt romney or newt gingrich >> is that a new reality, or are we just getting rid of a fantasy? >> i think we're getting closer
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to what we might call reality itself. not just the institutionally created reality that we're taught exists. i think the good part is that we don't necessarily need to look to washington to build this stuff anymore. right? we can do it. at my think tank. we have spent the last year trying to do it. and one of the things that we found is when we build a balance sheet for this country, we had a very different picture than when we look at gdp. our balance sheet suggests that real wealth in america peaked around 1970. and that shouldn't be a surprise to anybody who watches your show and knows that real income's in decline and poverty's gone up and all of these things have happened. so we don't need the institutions to do it for us anymore. we can take on the challenge ourselves and -- >> so the last issue is, how do you deal with a population desperate to get doped up on ho hopium, so they don't have to deal with the things we've discussed. >> it's one thing to build a new set of measures to gauge the
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health of any economy, but it's another thing to change our lifestyles. and i think these things are interindependent. i think if we were able to build these measures, people would be able to see their lives in a very different way. and they might be able to take a quantum leap much more easily. so i think the two kind of go hand in hand. but what is for sure is we cannot build a measure and hope for it to result in much, unless people also take a quantum leap, in terms of actually changing their own lives. >> absolutely. it's great to see you and hope to see more of you in the new year. "betterness" is the book. economics for humans. academic it out. it's one of the things i'll be reading over the christmas holiday. we've got much more with umair coming up on the website. capitalists who make versus capitalists who take. is where you find that. coming up on "hardball" here, newt slipping in the polls
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as mitt picks up more endorsements. a look at the gop race with just t-minus two weeks until the iowa caucuses. but first, santa's sleigh. keli goff about some lesser-known holiday horror classics. ♪ [ gasp ] [ mom ] my husband -- he thinks it's a 3-sheeter. i say 1-sheeter. bounty can clean the mess with less. [ female announcer ] in this lab demo, 1 sheet of bounty leaves this surface as clean as 2 sheets of the bargain brand. ♪ dance cooking? bring it. super durable. super absorbent. super clean. bounty the 1-sheet clean picker-upper. and try bounty napkins.
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is the pain reliever orthopedic doctors recommend most for arthritis pain, think again. and take aleve. it's the one doctors recommend most for arthritis pain... two pills can last all day. ♪
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well, it is a monday and here's keli with a dose of holiday cheer and a little bit of fear. keli, take it away. >> thanks, dylan. along with extra-crowded airports, there are a few other sure things we can expect each holiday season. for one, some people will get offended whether we say merry christmas or happy holidays. also, for every one-hit wonder that releases bad covers of christmas classics, such as a hard rock version of "silent
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night" and a rap version of "away in a manger," there will be just as many bad christmas movies. before any of you accuse me of being a scrooge, let me say for the record i actually love christmas movies, good ones, from the classic "it's a wonderful life" to the dark comedy "the ref," and even "die hard," which people often forget is a christmas movie. but for every "it's a wonderful life" and "die hard," there is a "silent night, deadly night," a slasher film in which a man dressed as santa delivers murder and mayhem instead of presents. for some reason, this film has managed to spawn four sequels. even more annoying, though, are what i like to call the four christmas movies, as in "a mom for christmas," "a dad for christmas," "a nanny for christmas" to name just a few. when "for christmas" follows something, the movie is a
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cinematic equivalent of fruitcake. but the most egregious of all are the endless remakes of "a christmas carol," dozens of them. every year someone decides that they are going to produce the definitive update of the dickens classic. only instead of a greedy businessman, scrooge is depicted as a self-absorbed heiress, actor, actress, and i'm assuming this year will be depicted as a reality star with a sex tape, because that represents the pinnacle of achievement here in america. don't get me wrong, i'm not saying every christmas movie has to be oscar material, but with a lot of these movies, you get the impression that the people involved aren't even trying. it's as though they literally have a production meeting and say, what's the cheapest christmas movie we did last year and how can we update it with an even cheaper writer and cheaper cast this year. if you're going to be bad, at least be bad but entertaining. "santa's slay" co-stars fran dresser. a bad christmas? most likely. so bad it might be good, quite
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possibly. here's withining you all a christmas and holiday season filled with good movies or at least movies so bad they're entertaining. dylan? >> what to do with this rant. i do not even know. the fact of the matter is, much like anything else in this universe, this economy now rewards cheap attention seeking over quality anything. >> right. >> fair? >> yes, fair. >> so the movies just reflect that we've created a system of economic incentives that reward cheap, shoddy attention-seeking behavior over anything of value. >> well, right. and a small part of the consumerism of all these holidays, they stop being about the true meaning, and it's like, what can we turn out as quickly as possible. i guess i should count my blessings these movies aren't being released in the summer. >> if i don't see you next week, have a wonderful holiday. >> you too. see you next year. >> that's going to do it for us today. i'm dylan ratigan. "hardball with chris matthews" teeing up right here now on


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